Day 4: Strong Summer Series- 9 Ways To Strength Train Without Hitting The Weight Room

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First, let me apologize for putting the Strong Summer Series on hold this weekend.  I had some video technical difficulties, and I didn’t have the time to rectify the problem.  But stuff happens, right? I’ve fixed the problem, and I will be back with another ab video tomorrow. Today, I have a a fun post about other ways to get strong this summer.

9 Ways To Strength Train Without Hitting The Weight RoomAs you all know, the premise of the Strong Summer Series is to strengthen my muscles to prepare for my intense NYC marathon training.  I decided to do this publicly because I want to encourage you all to train with me. Strength training not only makes you look great, but it also strengthens your muscles and bones and prevents injury. But, one of the biggest obstacles to strength training (and working out in general) is many people lack the time and energy to dedicate to the weight room.  I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to go to the gym and use complicated machinery to build up muscle. Instead, here are 9 ways to strength train without spending hours in the weight room.

Some completely FREE options

  1. Videos. I have created some videos with simple workouts that you can do in your living room, and there will be more to come through the month of June. YouTube also has a HUGE compilation of free strength training videos.  Just search for the body part you want to target and take your pick.
  2. Use your bodyweight. There are so many muscle building exercises that can be done , using just your body weight.  Think about it, your body weight is heavy–over 100 pounds.  Here are some body weight exercises you can do practically anywhere to build muscle: planks, push ups, wall sit, squats, lunges, sit ups, triceps push ups, mountain climber, burpees, dead lifts, calf raises, arm circles, any variation of crunches.
  3. Yoga. Some of the most ripped people I know practice yoga on a daily basis.  Not only is it great for your mind, but it’s also a great way to build strength.  Many of the poses require a great deal of strength, flexibility and practice.  You can find local, affordable classes or try out a free class online.
  4. Dumbbells at home. When I feel like I’ve been sitting for too long, I will jump up and grab a set of dumbbells.  Sometimes, I just do 3 sets of bicep curls, and other times I will do a bunch of upper body activities. Next time you find yourself plastered on the couch for too long, get up and grab a set of dumbbells.  Do some bicep curls while watching your favorite show.
  5. Hit the pool. Swimming is such an awesome form of all around exercise.  It builds strength in your arms, abs, back, and legs, while also increasing aerobic endurance.  Not to mention that swimming will keep you cool and happy all summer long. Man, what I wouldn’t give for a pool…sigh.
  6. Resistance bands.  One of my favorite ways to strengthen my IT bands and glutes is by using a resistance band. (You will see this in next weeks videos.)  By just putting a resistance band around your ankles and pushing your leg out to the side, you can get a heck of a workout.  You can also pull the band from opposite ends to get an arm workout.  The resistance in the band will work out practically any muscle.
  7. Cardio exercises. Many people think cardio and strength training are two separate things, but cardio exercises build muscle while also working your heart and lungs. Most cardio exercises, like running, biking, elliptical, stairs, dance, or general aerobics, will really strengten your lower body muscles.

And for those who want to spend a little bit of money

8. Fitness Classes. Aerobics classes are not just for moms in leotards anymore. With the invention of things like Class Pass, spin studios, and Daily Burn, there has been a resurgence of the fitness class.  In NYC alone, I have heard of classes dedicated to many different strength training workouts, such as rowing, running, spinning, pilates, barre, different types of yoga, trampolines, and probably many more. They are great workouts and you will almost never get bored. Try one out today!

9. Work with a personal trainer. The best way to really strengthen a targeted area is to consult an expert.  I have many RD friends that are also personal trainers, and they are extremely knowledgeable and friendly.  Personal trainers are there to help you get the results you desire. Feel free to contact me for a recommendation.

What other ways do you get a good muscle building workout outside of the gym?

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